Hope for Disabilities

Fulfilling unmet needs in the disability community

Helping Your Employer Better Understand Your Diagnosis

Posted by Emily Jensen on August 20, 2015 at 7:30 AM

Whether your job is a volunteer position or a paid position, talking openly with your employer about your diagnosis might be extremely uncomfortable for a variety of reasons. It is against the law in the United States for an employer to discriminate against an employee because a medical diagnosis, but it happens every day and the employers get away with it in most cases without having to pay any consequences for it. Some people with certain diagnosis' have been discriminated against so many times in the work place, that they would much rather just stay home and live on their SSI or Social Security income. This is extremely unfortunate because a person with a diagnosis has just as much right to work as anyone else does. The law states that a person applying for a job does not legally have to enclose a medical diagnosis on their job application, resume, or in the interview, but if the diagnosis is visible, once a person reaches the interview stage they might become discouraged because they might feel that if a potential employer does a face to face interview with them they might not get the job and the potential employer does not have to enclose why the candidate didnt' get the job and they don't have to be honest about their reasoning if they are asked by the potentioal employee why they didn't get the job. Often times an employer will say that they found someone more qualified for the job which could mean that they had more education in the field of the job requirements, or they had a longer work history in similar jobs where they learned the skills needed to do the job that they are applying for. This can seem like discrimination, but there is no way to prove that what the potential employer has just done is in fact discriminate against a candidate for the open employment position because they have a medical diagnosis that could be a liability to the employer, or the employer might be concerned about the person's attendance record if they were to hire the person and they called in sick often because of the diagnosis and those are typically not grounds for termination of employment although it happens all the time. Some companies choose to only hire people with medical diagnosis and these can be great companies to work for because more than likely they already understand your diagnosis and know ahead of time that you might have to take an extra long leave of absence from the job if you get sick or have to go into the hospital for an unexpected surgical procedure.

What do you do if your diagnosis is not visible? How do you help your employer to understand what is going on inside you that they can't see? What if you have a diagnosis such as PTSD or Bipollar disorder where your moods can change at the drop of a pin and can be not only distracting to others around you, but can be quite embarassing as well? Has your employer or a co-worker ever blindsided you with a difficult conversation or topic that you would rather not discuss in public or at all for that matter? Have you been overwhelmed at work and have been trying to keep your feelings to yourself and all locked up inside, but your co-workers or your employer has finally called you on it and you just fly off the handle and explode because you are trying your best, but you feel that no matter what you do, or how hard you try, nothing ever seems to be good enough? Unless you have an extremely patient and understanding employer, these ould all be grounds for termination of your job. Are you super sensitive to certain things and if one of those things happens unexpectedly, you react without thinking about it fist? Your employer might say that you are not who he or she wants representing their company and might be forced to let you go. How do you handle a situation like this and how do you confront your employer about your concerns without the fear of being discriminated against?

Categories: Disabilities and Special Needs, Discrimination , General Comments

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Reply traifietCept
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